LA Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant sat out of both practices last Friday. A "minor" foot injury was blamed. It is not expected that Bryant will need more time away, but head coach Mike Brown reportedly is not concerned about the injury and feel that Kobe is in good hands with Lakers trainer Garry Vitti who recommended rest.
Foot injuries are common in basketball. This is due to the nature of the sport...stopping, starting, jumping and pivoting all lend themselves to increased risk of foot problems.
The most common foot injury associated with basketball is a sprained ankle. It is pretty easy to roll your ankle when suddenly changing directions on the court. Your ankle can also twist while coming down from a jump, which often leads to a more serious injury.
Whenever you twist your ankle, you end up tearing ligaments that support it. It also can cause the tendon to pull on and break the bone. Both of these conditions need immediate attention. If the bone is broken, it must be immobilized to make sure the fracture stays in good position. If the bone is not in good position, foot surgery would be required to repair the bone.
Many people shrug off a sprained ankle, but the injury can cause lasting effects. When your ligaments are torn, they will heal in a stretched position. This causes an instability in the ankle and puts you at risk for future ankle injuries. Studies are clear that early treatment with immobilization will result in the best and most stable healing.
From the sound of things, it seems that Kobe's foot injury is indeed a minor foot (not ankle) sprain. This will take some rest and therapy to resolve and chances are he will be back in practice early this week. If you have a foot or ankle basketball injury, don't wait to get it checked! Contact Houston podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider for an immediate appointment.